Paul Pierce didn’t have a choice as to whether or not he would be traded to the Nets, but Kevin Garnett did thanks to being one of the few players in the league that had a rare no-trade clause built into his contract.
And apparently, it took a whole lot of convincing to get Garnett to waive it in order for him to be included in the deal that sent both him and Pierce to Brooklyn to play next season.
If the Nets go deep into the playoffs with their newly-acquired stars, they’ll have Pierce to thank for delivering the extensive sales pitch to Garnett that resulted in him accepting his new assignment.
“It was one long, long phone call,” Pierce said with a laugh. “Probably like an hour-and-a-half, two hours. I just remember I was standing outside and it was 100 degrees, and I just remember after the phone call I was dripping sweat.
“I was like, ‘Do you understand what’s going on in Boston? [A potential trade to the] Clippers thing appears to be dead. So what do you think, big fella? I know you don’t want to retire. Iknow you don’t want to retire. You have too much in the tank, you love the game too much. Sometimes you just have to tell Kevin to sit back and think about it. He reacts to everything. Like his initial reaction to everything is, ‘No.’ [You say,] ‘Kevin I got a $100 million,’ [And he replies,] ‘No.’ Then he has to sit back and think about it and then once he warms up to it, he makes his decision, and that’s about anything.
“I knew his initial reaction was going to be against it, but I knew this was going to be a long conversation, too.”
Pierce and Garnett were introduced to the media in Brooklyn on Thursday, which is where this story was told.
It may have taken a while to convince KG to leave Boston, but it may have taken even longer for the move to finally sink in for Pierce, who has played all 15 of his NBA seasons for the Celtics.